shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Mike Dillon

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Upon Reaching a Certain Age

So many departures of people I knew.
Their houses are still here,
their names beveled in granite elsewhere.
Now strangers unlock their doors.

Winter birds depart and return,
depart and return —
grebe, loon, goldeneye
while the star wheel turns

with the fecund hymn of the salmon.
We know its inexorable end.
Yet each autumn they return again
to perish and replenish their birth streams.

So many departures.
So many names and faces are gone.
On winter nights, though, you can see
their houselights are still on.